Let me preface this by saying that I am aware that TCH does not handle their domain registrations but rather partners with a company to handle the registrations (in the end, GoDaddy), but since I have been a customer with TCH for quite a few years and initially hosted/registered the domains through them, I am posting this here.
I received a vague email yesterday stating that there had been a chargeback issued. There was an order number listed and a TCH copyright notice at the bottom of the email, but no domain mentioned. I initially had no idea whether this email was legit, nor which domain/account it was in reference to since I have a few different domains/clients that I manage through TCH. After contacting the TCH billing department through the help-desk, I was informed that I would have to call your domain registration partner since the notice was in regards to a domain name and the help desk did not have access to that information.
Before I contacted the "registration partner" I decided to do a little digging on my end to see if I could match up the order number listed in the initial email to any orders I have placed for domains recently and was able to match it up to a domain renewal I purchased back in February. I finally found the problem after reading over the renewal receipt a few times, somehow I had transposed the last four digits of my credit card number (not my number, but for example instead of 1813 I had typed 1318). An obvious mistake on my part, but easy enough to make and not notice even on a confirmation page. One would think the charge would be declined and I would receive a negative response from the shopping cart, or at least a response within a day (I realize not all systems verify and process the information immediately with the merchant account). It would also be reasonable to assume that there is a VERY slight, almost impossible, chance that someone else with my bank has an identical credit card number, with the last four digits transposed, with the same billing zip code and the same expiration date (depending on the merchant, possibly the name on the card, full address, etc.) but somehow according to support at the registrar at least, this was the case (which I HIGHLY doubt).
Two months later when the bank decided to issue a chargeback on the mystery account, the DNS was wiped from the domain, a parking page was put in it's place, I stopped receiving email to the accounts that go through that domain, and I received the aforementioned vague cancellation email which left me to guess at what the issue was.
After all this one would think it would be a matter of paying the domain registration fee that never went through, having the domain restored in a reasonable amount of time, and setting up the DNS records again. This apparently is NOT the case. After speaking with the registrar's support last night and getting a call-back this morning, I was informed that in order to get my domain back I would not only have to pay the $22 for a two year registration, but a $50 chargeback fee, which is completely unnaceptable. After all, if the credit card number was entered incorrectly, the FULL billing information OBVIOUSLY would not match up and the shopping cart/merchant account software should have refused the transaction at processing time. If the transaction somehow went through, it would appear as if there is a problem in the software or the system simply does not verify enough information to insure proper/valid information and charges. If I could (which I apprantly can) enter a similar credit card number to mine with bogus information and register a multitude of domains which will be live for a couple months (just long enough to use them for spamming), this is obviously a problem.
As mentioned above, I take responsibility for typing the card number incorrectly, with the amount of purchases I make online it was bound to happen eventually, but people cannot be expected to be responsible for fees incurred as a result of insufficient verification procedures. As of this point in time I have grudgingly paid the $72 as I need the domain/email back up, but I'd like to see what TCH has to say about this.